This is what we joined for

Well, it’s been quite a hectic couple of months, during which we have enjoyed visits from four different sets of wonderful friends. A couple of very dear pals who we know from my singing days in Lincolnshire arrived, just over a week after we bade farewell to my nephew and his partner, for their second trip of the year. Less than a fortnight later they were followed by a former teaching colleague and her partner, who also house-sat for us while we ourselves went away for a couple of weeks. They left the morning after our return, leaving us just a few hours to turn the guest room around in time for the arrival of our very old friends with whom we shared our time in Brunei at the turn of the millennium and who broke off their touring holiday to spend a few days with us. Then after a weekend-long pause, our even older friends whom we have known since the early 1990s when we all lived in Germany, also included a few days with us in their touring itinerary. ‘Old(er) friends’, by the way, refers to the length of the friendship; we ourselves, of course, all remain as young as ever…

And what an absolute delight it has been to welcome every one of them and to have the house filled with their voices and their laughter and to eat, drink and make merry with them – all of it exactly what we dreamt of when we moved to Casa Girasole, our own version of ‘La Dolce Vita‘.

Consequently, with so much catching up to be done, so many sights to see, and so many places to go (as well as quite a lot of bed linen to launder!) there was little time for putting pen to paper. So after a few days’ pause for reflection, here are some snapshots of a very special and memorable couple of months expressed in haiku.

A kaleidoscope
A summer of sensations
Bright-hued beads of joy

Sights, sounds, smells and tastes
Shared with friends both old and new
Making memories

Cathartic rants and
Belly-laughs and heart-to-hearts
That nourish the soul

Chilled drinks and dainty morsels
Served as dusk draws near

Churches, palaces
Lakes and sea and mountain views
Castles, galleries

Smoky aromas
From chargrilled swordfish steaks that
Sizzle over coals

Caves and operas
Picnics, pizzas on the square
Thunderstorms and hikes

Old jokes and nicknames
And ‘do-you-remember-whens’
Strengthening the bonds

And as summer fades
The warmth of those friendships will
Keep the cold at bay…

As with twists and turns
Of my new kaleidoscope
Summer is re-played

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